5 Often-Overlooked Keys to Client Retention
Tips provided by Jean Caragher, Capstone Marketing
- Know why clients leave your firm. In research conducted by CPA Trendlines clients indicate that the #1 reason they’d change CPA firms is “poor client service, attentiveness” (at 70%). But CPAs rate “poor client service, attentiveness” only at 22%. They worry more about “price, fees, costs, budget (at 63%) and clients dying, or selling or going out of business (at 55%). Sure, cost is a factor to Clients (at 63%), but the findings suggest that CPAs should be worrying at least as much about client service as about fees.
- Ask your clients for feedback. According to research conducted for the SevenKeys to Successful CPA Firm Management, www.sevenkeyscpa.com, the majority of CPA firms do not have a formal program to monitor client satisfaction. A client satisfaction program could include face to face interviews, surveys by mail or online, client advisory boards, and events.
- Be more proactive. Clients score “They might not be proactive enough” as a reason to fire their CPA firm 40% of the time. Only 15% of CPAs see it as a reason. This gap is huge! Know your clients’ needs. Provide your clients with valuable resources throughout the year. Spend face time with them outside of tax season.
- Be willing to fire clients. The SevenKeys CPA Leaders are five times more likely to fire clients than the SevenKeys CPA Laggards. Bad clients have an impact on profits, productivity, and staffing. Evaluate your client base and determine those clients to transition out, which will free up time to spend with your better client.
- Provide your staff with soft skills training. Well-trained workers equal fewer complaints. That means lower costs, and happier customers willing to spend more money and tell their friends about it.